Research project School mathematics, for a variety of reasons, has little resemblance to what mathematicians actually do in their daily lives. Many students experience mathematics as routine and perhaps even boring, whereas mathematicians describe their work in terms of beauty and play.
While it is not at all trivial to bring the practice of mathematics into the mathematics classroom, and perhaps even questionable if this is the best way to educate all students, it seems a shame for students to go through their entire mathematics education without really getting a feel for what the subject is like. As it is now, many talented students choose to end their studies in mathematics without experiencing real mathematics, and many students who struggle with the subject will do so without experiencing any of the rewards of doing so. This study on beauty, and the subsequent work we hope to do to connect our results to practices of teaching and learning, have the aim of providing students an opportunity to experience real mathematics along the lines of how mathematics is actually practiced, not just as a utilitarian subject, but a human one.